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Life of a Dairy Cow

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Forcibly impregnated. Separated from baby. Milked. Repeat.

Every year, 9.4 million cows are used for dairy production. This is their reality…for a forgotten glass of milk.

When she is born, a female calf is immediately removed from her mom and placed in a small enclosure by herself. Instead of her own mother’s milk, she is fed pooled milk from the milking parlor and artificial milk replacer. She is dehorned and any extra teats are cut off without pain relief.

When she is 3-6 months-old, she is moved into group housing with other calves her age.

Although she would normally be physically ready to mate at 20-30 months of age, on a dairy farm, she is forcibly impregnated at 12-15 months-old through artificial insemination.

Nine months later, she gives birth to a male calf, who is also taken from her right after birth.

Depending on his breed, he will either live in a crate so small he cannot turn around for veal production, or he will go to a feedlot and be slaughtered at only a year old for beef production.

She is milked for 10 months, during which time she is impregnated again. She is given a short 30-45 day “rest” before she gives birth.

She gives birth again and the cycle continues. Every time her baby is removed, and she must endure the emotional pain again. Cows call out for their babies, as they are separated.

This miserable process repeats for the next 3-5 years.

When she is no longer profitable, she is killed. She is slaughtered at 4-7 years old, though she  could live up to 20 years.

A life of suffering, and an early death, for no reason other than human desire. A glass of milk, or block of cheese is not worth inflicting this pain on another being.

This Mother’s Day, think of these non-human mothers who endure incredible agony. You can help disrupt this cruel industry, by ditching dairy, and opting for the vegan option. Every time you choose vegan, you are voting for a kinder world.

26 Responses so far.

  1. jean publiee says:

    this needs to be stopped. we can all do without this horror

    • Gladys Lugo says:

      I agree with Nancy and Jean. The only way to stop this is to become a vegetarian! It breaks my heart when I see what horrors these poor animals go through. Money is what talks! Today starts my veggie diet.

  2. rhonda hedges says:

    This is a shame that a innocent calf and cow are treated this way for milk or beef. I will not eat meat or drink cows milk. I am so sorry that this happens very cruel

  3. Patsy Martin says:

    This is cruel and inhumane. It is not the milk drinker or cheese eatdr that is wrong. That type of activity needs to be investigated by animal control
    Fine them for using these inhumane prsctices.

    • Claire C says:

      Dairy farms require that babies do not drink the milk of their mothers, so humans can drink it instead. This is not humane. Consumers can make compassionate choices by removing animal products from their diet!

  4. Why are human animals so ignorant to actually believe they should be drinking from a COW? This is by far one of the most UNNATURAL and disgusting things ever. We get calcium from plants just like young calves do when they are WEANED OFF THEIR MOTHERS.!!!

    • cindy stoppa says:

      People were lied to,,, the government told people they needed calcium for their bones which you get from cow milk, this lie was told so farmers could make a huge profit…You get more calcium from kale,spinach,leafy green vegetables, almonds…Google what foods have the most calcium, avoid yogurt another lie, it’s loaded with fat and sugar…..

  5. Diana says:


  6. Maureen Edwards says:

    The solution is to stop eating animal products!

  7. this is horrible. needs to be stopped, animals have feelings , why humans do not realize that,

  8. Nancy Siegrist says:

    What a horrible life for a beautiful gental animal. We don’t need to eat animals or dairy. It’s not worth the life it tortures.

  9. Penny Skaff says:

    This is horrible. I am not vegan, but I have given up eating meat. This kind of information makes me want to do better.

  10. What a depressing cycle of life. Who thought up this horrible, torturous way to raise animals. You wonder how these individuals who torture these gentle creatures can sleep at night. My thought – God is watching.

  11. Virginia Norlund Andre says:

    I’m embarrassed to say I had no idea! This is soooo sad! Aren’t there Organic dairy farmers who are kinder?

    • Claire C says:

      Most people don’t know, because this information is often hidden from us! Unfortunately, organic is often just as cruel. Any use of animals for dairy, requires a baby to be separated from their mother, so that humans can consume the milk instead. We believe the most humane choice, is to remove dairy completely!

  12. Coco Smith says:

    This is heartbreaking. Boggles my mind how cruel Humans are.

  13. Stop this abuse and cruelty from happening. There are humane ways to handle these animals

  14. Cheryl Summers says:

    Stop torturing the animals. It tells me what kind of animals you are. You can do you jobs with out Torturing . And if you cant you need to get out of the business.

  15. Catherine Donnell says:

    Having a glass of milk or having cheese does not mean that the animal producing these products has to endure this suffering. There are many humane ways to farm

  16. This is horrible. I third it. It should be stopped.We don’t need to eat animals or dairy.

  17. Jill Nightingale says:

    This is horrific…no animal deserves to live like this. Eating animals and their milk is NOT Healthy. Please consider being Vegan…Save yourhelath, the animals and the Earth.

  18. Cindy Kalbern says:

    Ditching dairy products for other delicious options is healthier. Medical studies have shown time and time again how high fat diary and red meat contributes to different cancers. Has anyone ever looked into the eyes of a cow? I have at least 3 times!!! They feel FEAR, SADNESS, and are docile creatures who are treated like machines in an auto plant. It is just sickening how they are enslaved and then murdered at a very young age!!!!! To be human should mean to be HUMANE not barbaric!!!

  19. Cindy Kalbern says:

    I am a member of Animal Place! They do great rescue work in saving lives! Please donate to this compassionate sanctuary!